Dario Gradi has admitted that he is having difficulty enticing new players to Crewe Alexandra.
Alex's veteran technical director has only been able to persuade Birmingham City goalkeeper Adam Legzdins to join the club so far this summer, while Bournemouth's Shaun Cooper and Anthony Elding from Leeds United have turned down the chance to move to Gresty Road.
Gradi told the club's official website: "It's become much harder to bring those players in which we may have done in the past.
"The bigger clubs do not give away those Platts, Lennons or Wards any more. They usually loan them out or get a decent fee for them now.
"When you go after a good non-league player you soon discover that there are a lot of scouts watching them too.
"When you talk about non-league players nowadays, those who used to be £20,000 to £50,000 are now supposedly worth £200,000 plus. It remains a huge gamble."